EC consider 10% duty for Vietnamese shoes

7 August 2006

The European Commission has proposed a 10% anti-dumping duty on leather shoes made in Vietnam. The proposed duty would replace the previously proposed Deferred Duty System, DDS, which was rejected by European Union member states. Provisional tariffs for leather shoes starting at 4.2% were imposed on April 7 this year and will rise progressively to 16.8% by September 15. Acting head of the EC's Vietnam delegation, Nicolas Provencal, explained the rejection of the proposed DDS by saying that the system is relatively complicated; it requires a count of 95 millions pairs and does not comply with World Trade Organisation rules. The proposed 10% rate would also apply to children's shoes whereas previously, children's shoes were exempt. The senior EC officials emphasised that the rate is no more than a proposal. A final decision may be made by the member states in October and would be for five years. The EC expect the proposed action to have only a 'small negative impact' on Vietnam's shoe industry because, as a developing nation, the country enjoyed GSP (Generalised System Preferences) status with tariff reductions. Nicolas Provencal said: 'The anti-dumping action is not aimed at limiting exports. It just creates a level playing field between European and Vietnamese makers.' But the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) argues that the proposed 10% duty is relatively high and unfair. It would have a negative impact on the lives 500,000 workers employed in the shoe industry, it says. Lefaso chairman Nguyen Gia Thao said: 'The EC should consider lowering the proposed levy because with a 10% rate, we will lose customers, causing great difficulties for our industry.'

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